The Heroine’s Journey


I had the great pleasure to be invited by Peter de Kuster to tell my story and talk about my inspirations on his blog : THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY

Here are some extracts –>


What is the best thing that I love about my work? The best thing I love about my job is my ultimate freedom. Now more than ever, I have the feeling that everything is possible, that I can work on anything I want. It’s a wonderful feeling.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? I am very happy right now because I think I am exactly where I want to be, personally and professionnally. I think that Happiness isn’t something that happens to you, out of the blue, it is something you build every hour of everyday of your life. It is something to take very seriously and that needs to be checked regularly. I think happiness is the connection between who you truly are and who you allow yourself to be.

What is my greatest fear? The thing I fear the most is to lose the people I love. I feel everything with a lot of intensity and I am quite a loner but the few people around me, I love them very deeply and their disappearance could probably kill me. I know I can be very strong and willing, able to face a lot, but if I have no one left to love, what’s the point?

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?The trait about myself that I deplore the most is that I can lack concentration : when I have too many things to do or to many projects on my mind, I can stop what I am doing very easily and switch all day long from one to the other, not being efficient at all. I tires me and I really work on that because time runs out very quickly !

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I considerate that I have three professions : embroiderer / writer / illustrator. As a writer, I really admire J.K. Rowling : when I was a child she was a role model to me never giving up on her story. Keep writing whatever happens. When you see the success that she had, it seems obvious that she was right, but it wasn’t before.

What is my greatest extravagance? I think that my greatest extravagance was rejecting a traditionnal kind of comfort to live my life as I intended to. I could have engaged myself in a stable and reassuring way of life but I refused it even if I had no other options at the time, only convinced that it was the righteous way and therefore the Universe would help me. I regret nothing today.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Everytime I receive a spontaneous compliment about my work or when people tell me I inspire them, especially younger women, I feel the bridge between me and the rest of the world building itself and everything starts to make sense. To me it is the point of art : connecting minds and people and I love that feeling.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would love to be able to resist temptation. I am very bad at that : I am more of an Oscar Wilde on that matter : «The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it. I can resist everything but temptation» I am trying to be more like a buddhist monk but I am not there yet.

What is my greatest achievement in work? I think that my greatest achievement is my independance : I am very proud to say that I live only from my creations and it is a wonderful feeling – yet a daily challenge.

What is my most treasured possession? My most treasured possession is by far an oil painting signed by my aunt Pascale Montandon-Jodorowsky. It’s an abstract landscape in blue and green, the incarnation of peace and beauty. It is an open window on heaven and when I look at it, it reminds me of the essential : to give everything you have to your art.

What is my most marked characteristic? I think that my main characteristic is my wide imagination, because it is the starting point of everything I do. For a very long time, when I was younger, it was the only thing that kept me alive : imagining a hundred new universes I would rather live in and all the characters that could live there with me.

What books influenced my life and how? When I was still a student, my aunt gave me Letters To A Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke and it really moved me. It is like a spiritual and martial guide for young creators and I decided to apply as much as possible of Rilke’s requirements to myself. Another book which is a big part of my personnal mythology is the Manga Nausicaa From The Valley Of The Wind, by Hayao Miyazaki. It is his only manga but a real encyclopedia of his universe and a wonderful declaration of love to Nature.

Who are my favorite writers? I love the work of Yoko Ogawa, very delicate and feminine, subtly fantastic and melancholic. I dive into her words like in a dream. Jane Austen has also influenced me a lot : her stories are timeless and she is a wonderful character creator. Finally, I feel very concerned by the work of Roland Barthes : his delicate and poetic way to see the language, art, fascinates me.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Symphony No 7 in A Major, Op 92: II. Allegretto. I always listen to it to end my novels, I think it is a perfect combination between beauty, lyricism, darkness and hope.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I love the male characters created by Jane Austen, and Mr Knightley from Emma, is my favourite. As a heroin, I adore Isa from Les Passagers du vent, by François Bourgeon. She is tough and sensitive, deeply feminine but strong, smart, funny and humane. The ideal woman.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Since I was a little girl, I have always been very impressed by Cleopatra. She was very clever, very educated and even if being a woman at the time was even harder than today, she managed to use her talents, seducing and convincing the two most important men of her time, to rule. To me, she is a real role model. I am also very impressed by the deep determination and strenght of Joan of Arc, so deeply faithful that she was ready to die for her beliefs.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? It’s very hard to choose, but I have been deeply moved by Atonnement, by Joe Wright, and because of the beauty, dramatic intensity and the beautiful end that says that fiction can heal reality, it is the movie I would recommend.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is everything to me. I would slowly die of despair if there was no art in my life. I think it is the only real reason to live : create. It can be a family, a garden, a city, whatever riseS ourselves. And to me, Art is above all, it is the raw beauty at its purest form.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My aunt, Pascale Montandon-Jodorowsky has always been the closest person to me. She has always been around, talking to me when I was 5 as if I was 20, learning me how to draw, how to work, how to be true to myself. Now that I am a grown-up, she is everything to me, my second mother, my sister, my bestfriend, my mentor, my consciousness. And the best supporter of my work. I love her forever.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? In 2017, I would love to collaborate with my boyfriend. I love his work, in a very different field as myself, but in a very complementary one. It can be hard sometimes when you have no boundries between your professionnal and private life because you never stop, but when you work with the ones you love, it makes sense and relations get deeper.  I think that creating together is the ultimate purpose of a couple.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I am working on my third novel. I started it 6 years ago and had a lot of breaks since but I am willing to finish it in 2017. I feel like this story is running throught my blood for too long now, and I have to let it go on paper to free myself for the next project.

What do the words «Passion Never Retires» mean to me? It means that I will die a pencil in my hand, because I would have never stopped working. To me working isn’t an obligation but a necessity to create, to make things come to life. Retirement means that you can stop. I don’t think I can.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? I have a dream team of people I love and admire : Julie Coustarot , Anne-Sophie Chhim, Camille (Délicate Distorsion), Karoline Rose. And so much others that I am sorry I don’t name.



–> Discover the complete Interview on THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY, by PETER DE KUSTER